Everton supporters were hoping for some transfer activity on deadline day, although the sale of Mikel Arteta and Jermaine Beckford wasn’t quite what they had in mind, even if the club were able to raise £14 million from the sale of the two players.
It leaves the Toffees looking pretty threadbare this season, not to mention the fact that Arteta has been one of the team’s outstanding performers over the past few campaigns and it is hard to see David Moyes steering the Merseyside club to their customary top half finish.
Everton have three points on the board after surviving two missed penalties at Blackburn before winning the match with one of their own and they will now look to get that first Goodison win against a Villa side unbeaten in three.
The Toffees are warm favourites at 11/10 (bet365 – £200 free bets) although there might not be too many takers considering Victor Anichebe injured himself playing for Nigeria and that leaves Louis Saha as the only recognised striker, with the Frenchman 6/1 (Sky Bet – £35 free betting) to score the first goal of the game.
Aston Villa have had a compact start to the season, with goalless draws against Fulham and Wolves sandwiching a 3-1 win over Blackburn, something that will be satisfactory to Alex McLeish as he attempts to get onside with the supporters. Odds of 14/5 (Ladbrokes) are available if you think the Villans can add to the gloom pervading Everton at the moment.
Both teams could be short on firepower this season, with the visitors having lost Stewart Downing and Ashley Young in the summer and there is much reliance on Darren Bent to keep scoring the goals for Villa.